A bolt cutter or bolt cropper, depending on preference, is a handy tool in cutting just almost all the things what a regular cutter can’t slice through. From chains to padlocks, bolts, and wires, bolt cutter can cut through almost anything. Its usefulness is mostly seen on the warehouse where tight-locked shipping containers are opened and inspected after being cut from its chains. Bolt cutters usually have long handles and short blades. Compound hinges are what separates bolt cutters from the usual cutters as it leverages cutting force. A regular bolt cropper can yield 20-kilonewtons of force. Strong enough to remove a regular strong-steel padlock.
Bolt cutters come in different sizes and types. It ranges from 12 to 42-inches in overall length (from handle to the blade tip), and with different cutting blades such as center cut, angle cut, clipper cut, and shear cut. Each type has a certain purpose when cutting different kinds of steel. Whether it’s a flat surface or circular steel like chains, there’s a particular bolt cutter use for those kinds of steel. When it comes to living wires, the handle is replaced by a fiberglass material instead of the usual metal, which contributes to lighter weight, thus making it less stressful to the hands.
You won’t realize the importance of a bolt cutter unless you need to cut through something. Maybe you lost the key for your garage or you’re safe, in this cases, bolt cutters are far more helpful compared to sawing and torching the steel. So, in finding a good bolt cutter to match your specific needs, we already rounded up the best bolt cutter out there. Just keep in mind that this tool is used for a general purpose like cutting lost key padlocks, and not cutting someone else’s padlock. Without further delay, these are the best bolt cutter that stands among the rest.
Neiko 00563A Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter
Getting a large bolt cutter only means a few things: better handling and more cutting power. So, when you plan on cutting just almost everything, the Neiko 00563A Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter can clearly get the job done in the most effortless way. The blade used to cut chains, padlocks and more features 36-inch chrome moly steel that cuts through objects harder than vanadium steel bolt cutters. Durability won’t be a problem with this one as the blade went under high-frequency, heating process to allow for damage resistant, as well as dents in the process.
The ergonomic handles make do with a rubber material for comfort and ease of use, reducing the strain on the hands, allowing for cutting through anything with ease. Overall, it’s a heavy-duty bolt cutter that weighs 12.8 pounds, measuring 37 x 8 x 2 in inches. This thing is more than capable of slicing through anything at home.
Tradespro 831718 Bolt Cutter
Crafting tools are not really known for being aesthetically convincing with most tool clad in black color or plain stainless steel. But thanks to one manufacturer, they’re able to pass through the boundary of black and stainless steel outfit. Introducing the Tradespro 831718 Bolt Cutter, it’s clad in yellow for its long handle, making it not only good-looking but easy to see with its high-profile color. Measuring 18-inches in length and weighing 3.1 pounds, this 18-inch bolt cutter won’t be too much of a task when going from one place to another.
The black rubber grip features a non-slip characteristic for better handling and force exertion. It helps a lot in reducing hand strain regardless how many times you need to use it continuously. The carbon steel construction is durabl-y heat-treated for maximum strength and grit. Its powder coated finish adds a bit of flourish and hardness. This one comes with lifetime warranty. As long as you’re not going to cut live wires, this one is a good product.
Olympia Tools 39-118 Power Grip Bolt Cutter
Rarely we see bolt cutters that are literally handy and easy to carry, especially when you’re a professional moving from one place to another, a long heavy bolt cutter protruding outside your bag makes you look like a fool. Fortunately, the Olympia Tools 39-118 Power Grip Bolt Cutter was invented. It has a feature that no other normal bolt cutter has, a folding mechanism. Believe it or not, hard strong steel tools can actually be folded for ergonomics. With an overall length of 16.5-inches, this bolt cutter can fold itself reducing the length around 9 to 10inches in length, thus making it easier to stuff inside a bag.
Despite its folding mechanism, its durability and cutting power were not affected. The blade features a CR-MO steel cutting head with aligned blade adjusting bolts for better control and accuracy. The black rubber grip boasts extra-wide handles for ease of use, as well as comfort by reducing pressure on hands. Overall, the innovative 18-inch bolt cutter is based on highest-grade steel construction complete with powder coated finish on yellow color. It can’t get any better than this in terms of portability.
Olympia Tools 39-114 Power Grip Bolt Cutter
If you want things to be a little bit handier, the Olympia Tools 39-114 Power Grip Bolt Cutter packs the same features before this one but in a much shorter length at 14-inches. Weighing 2.4 pounds and measuring 11.6 x 5.9 x 1.2-inches, this bolt cutter can further shrink itself down to 7 to 8-inches. It can fit in small bags, tool waist bag, and toolbox if you still have one. When it comes to capability, it can cut through almost every steel that you can think of. Just not live wires.
The head also features CR-MO hardened steel, the grip also comes with extra-wide rubber-coated handles for less pressure on hands that contributes to comfort when being used. If you want a smaller and less heavy bolt cutter, this one easily reigns on that category.
Olympia Tools 39-124 Power Grip Bolt Cutter
Belonging to the same family of the last two bolt cutters, the Olympia Tools 39-124 Power Grip Bolt Cutter is the largest amongst them at monster 24-inches in size. At this size, expect even the jumbo-sized chains and padlocks to bend on its steel. It weighs about 7 pounds and measures 16.5 x 7.1 x 1.5-inches that can shrink down to 10 to 11-inches when folded, yes, it also features that folding mechanism for flexibility.
The CR-MO steel cutting blade is complete with blade adjusting bolts and the grip is made extra-wide for better comfort when being used. Most of the steel handle is clad in yellow color complete with powder coated finish for a more flourishing look. If you don’t mind the weight and looks to play with big toys, this one will do.
What to Look For
Choosing a bolt cutter solely relies on what you’re going to do with it. Since it varies in sizes and types, it’s of utmost importance to know first the purpose of buying one. Is it for padlocks, for roofs, electric wires? Especially the latter, if you use a regular bolt cutter to cut through live wires, expect a funeral coming soon if ever you won’t be able to survive the first wave of electricity. What we’re pointing out is to know first a few pointers before you go cutting hardened steels.
- Size – the size ranges from 12-inch up to 48-inch. The larger the number the heavier and the longer the bolt cutter that you’ll be using. Going to large might give you a problem when using as it’s very heavy to carry and requires a lot of brute strength just to cut a thin steel. Everything else, of course, goes vice versa. The smaller it is, the lighter it becomes but the only drawback is that it’s limited to a few sheets of steel like slim chains or padlocks.
- Cut style – blade cuts are of different forms. Angle-cuts makes the head of the cutter angled for ease of access and are recommended for hard to reach spaces for precise cuts; Center-cuts are equally set at a certain distance for a cleaner cut; Shear-cuts are inverted like scissors. They don’t have much cutting force so it suits them for lighter material to cut through; Clipper cuts are flushed against one side and made for slicing through flat surfaces.
- Handle material – most handle grip is of steel and rubber, with the latter offering better comfort and less pressure needed when cutting through steel. But in the case of live wires, the rubber won’t do much protection. Fiberglass handled are made to cater to this kind of needs.
Regular cutters won’t do enough if you’re planning to slice a solid block of steel. The importance of bolt cutter clearly shows when the tough gets going and you need to cut through something really solid. With sizes and blade types making things a bit complicated when looking for one, just keep in mind the size, cut style, and handle material of a bolt cutter to ensure safely cutting through hardened material. Failure to do so might leave to some serious accident or death.